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Rediff.com  » Business » RCF up on divestment hopes

RCF up on divestment hopes

May 26, 2003 11:17 IST

RCF got a boost from the government's inviting bids for global advisors in the divestment process.

By 9:56 IST, the stock of the state-run fertiliser maker surged 4.21% to Rs 30.95, recording volumes of 12,800 shares on BSE . On Friday, the scrip had risen 17.39% to Rs 29.70. It has now risen a solid 142% from Rs 12.80 on 31 March 2003.

The government plans to disinvest 51% stake in the state-run fertiliser major. Currently, the government holds 92.5% stake in RCF.

Earlier, there were reports that Tata group company Tata Chemicals and Aditya Birla group company Indo Gulf Fertilizers would be submitting expressions of interest to acquire the government's 51% stake in the company. The companies are eyeing RCF's huge manufacturing capacity and real estate assets, it is believed. EOIs for the 51% stake will likely be invited shortly.

RCF is the largest gas-based fertiliser and chemicals manufacturer in the country, with an installed capacity of 1.16 million tonnes. It has manufacturing units at Thal (Raigad district in Maharashtra) and Trombay near Mumbai. The company produces nitrogenous, phosphatic, and potash fertilisers along with a wide range of industrial chemicals. Fertilisers contribute 80% of its turnover. Since it has a depreciated plant, the cost of producing urea is low compared to international companies.

Other properties of RCF include housing complexes in Mumbai and Thal. It has an 800-acre property in Mumbai alone.

RCF has embarked upon an ambitious investment plan involving Rs 2,700 crore over the next three to five years for modernisation of its Trombay and Thal plants. The plan is to make the units safer and more environment-friendly. The company, which proposes to achieve a turnover of Rs 5,000 crore to take on global competition in the wake of WTO regime, will fund these schemes through internal accruals without government of India support.

Recently, the company unveiled its Q4 as well as FY 2002-03 financial results. For the year ended 31 March 2003, RCF recorded losses of Rs 48.07 crore compared to a net profit of Rs 24.21 crore in the previous year. Total income increased marginally by 0.41% to Rs 2,072.43 crore from Rs 2,063.85 crore. For Q4 ended 31 March 2003, the company's performance was redeeming, with a 146% rise in net profit to Rs 59.19 crore (24.04 crore) on a 13% increase in total income to Rs 650.66 crore (Rs 576.66 crore).